Zip Perfection

This week’s make is progressing well and after the last rather poorly executed concealed zip insertion this one went in reasonably well. However, compared with Karen from didyoumakethat?, my efforts are nothing! The care and attention to detail she has put into the zip insertion for her beautiful red lace dress are pretty impressive.

Spotty Skirt Spots

The spotty double gauze fabric from Clothkits tends to fray a lot so I’ve been finishing the seams off quite carefully by folding the edges under and using a zig zag to hold everything together. I might post a photo of the inside at the end if it looks presentable enough! The fabric isn’t as see-through as I originally thought but I’m still going with a lining because I think the gauzy nature of the fabric will catch on tights and stop the skirt from moving freely. A happy discovery was that I already had a lining cut out from this pattern which I hadn’t used so that will save some time. I experimented with pinning up the hem last night because I cut the pattern a bit shorter than I meant to so needed to be sure that it was going to be wearable and decent!

I’m still on course with my Me-Made-May pledge. Before the temperature plummeted today I was able to wear this dress. It is the same pattern as the infamous Brighton Pavilion frock but is showing signs of wear having been a favourite for several summers. The fabric came from C & H Fabrics in Chichester and is not a typical choice for me but it is very pretty and goes well with several of my cardigans which makes it quite versatile.

Floral Dress Floral Dress detail

C & H Fabrics currently have a window display showcasing some fabrics by our local famous dress designer and founder of Red or Dead, Wayne Hemingway. The images on their website really don’t do the fabrics justice and the Tulip design is very tempting. I shall have to buy some so I can post a decent image of it.

My latest fabric purchase is from Raystitch. I found this organic cotton denim on their site a while ago but it was out of stock.  I was keen to make another denim skirt in a neutral colour and discovered it was available again. It is lovely and soft but seems very robust. I’m thinking of trying a new pattern as an alternative to the last denim skirt – perhaps this one from Hot Patterns – but may end up sticking with what I know works. I think this is another fabric that needs to be washed before use in case of shrinkage.

No more Morsbags created over the last few days.  I’d like to get another couple finished by the weekend as I have potential recipients in mind.

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Too Bright for Comfort!

So far I’ve stuck with my Me-Made-May pledge.  I’m not planning to photograph every outfit (and certainly not me wearing them!) but I will mention the highlights and the less successful ones.

I was very happy in the newly repurposed top with the patch pockets mentioned in a previous post and ended up wearing this on Saturday and Sunday which was rather lazy.   It is very comfortable despite the slightly too-tight sleeves which I think are a result of me forgetting halfway through making it that the seam allowance on Hot Patterns is only ⅜ rather than ⅝.

Pockets

Yesterday was a different story. The sun came out so I decided to pair the new bright green Coco with a floral skirt (Simplicity 2655). Far too much colour all in one go for me and I couldn’t wait to get home and change. This Coco top has not been an entirely happy make. The fabric is a very ‘springy’ jersey which kept curling up at the edges and I don’t really like the feel of it. I had decided to omit the side slits which was a mistake and it just wasn’t the right length. Despite the horrors of unpicking the microscopic stretch stitch that my machine produces I decided to take the plunge so the top is now shorter with side splits (tricky having already trimmed the seams). I think it will be OK in future without the floral accompaniment!

I am playing it safer today with an old favourite from Simplicity 2192. I love this shape and the fabric is a stretch shirting (not suggested on the list of recommended fabrics) which is really comfortable. I did try making it in white linen but somehow it resembled something a dentist might wear so that went to the charity shop!

I showed this next top in its unfinished state in my last post and it was completed on Saturday.   Another unpicking session took place, this time on the sleeves due to less than straight stitching, which resulted in a tiny hole. I was going to try and repair it but in the end I just chopped off the sleeve hem and started again and in fact the new sleeve length is better.  It does look a bit boring on the hanger but I’m looking forward to wearing it because the fabric is so lovely and soft.

 Grey Top Finished

My skirt today is another old favourite (Simplicity 2343 minus the frilly edge to the pockets) which is showing signs of wear so last night I cut out a new version. I don’t normally wash fabric before I use it but I wanted to be sure this denim from Clothspot didn’t shrink or fade too much.  It was fine, just not quite as crisp as it was originally.

I had an unplanned visit to West Dean at the weekend. W, my partner, went out on his bike while I was visiting my parents and decided to implement his Fort Knox security measures on the front door. I had swapped bags and failed to transfer all the necessary keys and was therefore locked out! We agreed that I would drive up to meet him and this gave me the opportunity to visit the Visual Arts students’ selling exhibition to help fund their Summer Show. They were only taking cash so I was restricted to one purchase which was this lovely image by Cathy Griffiths. There was also some beautiful jewellery by Julia Tauber from the Metals Conservation Department.

Finally, one more Morsbag given away and one more made. I’d like to try and finish three more tonight as I have an ideal opportunity to give away four tomorrow which would take my total to 14 given away and only six more to make.

Me-Made-May

I did it! I signed up for Me-Made-May. This is my pledge :

I, Jane of janemakes.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to make better use of all my hand sewn garments and aim to wear at least one Me-Made item for five days each week for the duration of May 2015. I also challenge myself to make one new garment every week during May to add to my collection.

I decided that I just don’t have enough suitable outfits to provide enough variation to commit to one item every day of the week but I’ll see how I go. I hope the weather warms up soon because a lot of my clothes are definitely summer-orientated.

Today is the first of May and I am wearing my olive striped Coco top with a denim skirt. I always worry when I first wash a handmade item because I tend not to wash fabric before cutting out and I dread things emerging from the washing machine shrunk to half their original size. Mind you, when I made my first ‘proper’ skirt a few years ago I fully expected it to disintegrate into its separate pieces the first time I wore it!

I have been reviewing the limited number of hand sewn garments in my wardrobe and there have been a few minor repairs to undertake. I noticed a small mark on a favourite striped top which no amount of stain remover would shift do I decided to add pockets to disguise it. I had none of the original fabric left so I used some grey knit fabric (more about this below) and fashioned some patch pockets. This fabric is very thin so I used a double layer and I’m quite pleased with the result.

PocketsThis pattern is from Hot Patterns – the Plain & Simple Fitted T Redux. It has a back seam which gives a nice fit, although it does mean extra care when using stripes. I started another top from the same pattern last night in a plain grey knit fabric and it is well on the way to being finished. I bought this fabric some while ago in Lewes but I can’t remember where from. It has some cashmere in it and is lovely and soft. I was a bit nervous about using it because I thought it would be difficult to handle but it has been quite well behaved so far. I spent a long time attaching the neck band because it looked like it wasn’t going to fit but I was very determined. I did top stitch it because the fabric tends to curl up a lot at the edges and this has done the trick.

The bright green Coco is finished.   I left the side splits off this one. Here’s a possible outfit for Me-Made-May!

New Outfit

I have several other projects lined up. I bought some fabric from Clothspot the other day. I discovered the site when searching for stretch cotton shirting and bought a remnant for £7.50 (2 metres). I’ve never even thought about making a shirt but this is a lovely crisp fabric with a slight stretch and if I can overcome my fear of buttonholes I’ll give it a go. The other two fabrics in the pile are a fairly robust denim (to become a skirt) and a black ponte roma which will probably become a Coco top with a funnel neck to replace a favourite Cos top which accidentally ended up in a hot wash with a pile of towels.

New Fabric

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend.